WASHINGTON, D. C.--- U. S. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, announced Conference Committee approval of funding for several Mobile-area projects. Sen. Shelby said, "I am pleased that the bill provides significant funding for several projects for Mobile and the surrounding area. These funds reflect a commitment to safe and efficient transportation and infrastructure."
Mobile Waterfront Terminal
Sen. Shelby said, "Our legislation provides $5 million for the facility that will house the Mobile Waterfront Terminal and Maritime Center of the Gulf. The project, which is critical to the revitalization of the downtown area, will provide an arrival location for a new high-speed ferry terminal and educational complex, as well as additional space for future commercial development."
Railroad Bridge Reconstruction
The bill includes $10.041 million to continue the funding necessary to replace the 14 Mile CSX Railroad Bridge on the Mobile River. Sen. Shelby said, "Replacement of the bridge will ensure safe marine navigation on the Mobile River, which is critical to maintaining the efficiency and reliability of waterways commerce through the Port of Mobile and along the Black Warrior-Tombigbee waterway system."
Sen. Shelby said, "The Alabama State Docks have the potential to become one of America's most economically important ports in this new century because of the proximity to emerging trade routes on the Gulf of Mexico. I am pleased that the bill provides $5 million in funding to modernize this important asset to our state by constructing an intermodal containerized freight terminal." Preliminary data indicates Alabama will need to expand its current dockside facilities that handle and store containerized cargo.
University of South Alabama-Center for Coastal Transportation Engineering Research
The bill includes $600,000 to develop civil engineering design of transportation facilities in environmentally-sensitive coastal areas.
Sen. Shelby said, "This center will study challenges faced by coastal areas and issues important to Mobile-area residents. Research will focus specifically on topics such as coastal transportation systems, the development and durability of coastal infrastructure, and coastal water systems."
Gulf Coast High Speed Rail Corridor - Crossing Improvements
Sen. Shelby said, "Our legislation provides $2 million to accommodate any emerging national high-speed rail network and to reduce hazards at railroad and highway crossings along the Gulf Coast rail corridor between Mobile and New Orleans."
Gulf Coast High Speed Rail Corridor - Corridor Planning
Sen. Shelby said, "The promise of high speed rail throughout this area could provide unprecedented economic growth and opportunity. This bill provides $600,000 to begin planning for high speed rail service throughout the Gulf Coast area."
University of South Alabama
"Our bill will provide $2.5 million for the University of South Alabama to create a campus transit system. The University has over 12,500 students and the need for more efficient transportation in and around it’s campus is an important part of the University’s future growth."
Monroe County Airport
Sen. Shelby said, "Our bill ensures that funding will be provided for improvements to Monroe County Airport."
Alabama - Tombigbee Regional Commission Buses and Vans
Sen. Shelby said, "Our bill provides $450,000 for buses and vans throughout Wilcox county. This funding will allow the residents located in rural areas to have access to transportation and jobs.”